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---be considered—The first clothing of the human pair, the name of Adam's wife, and the expulsion from the garden of Eden :
1. The First Clothing of Adam and Eve.-In one of those brief but remarkably suggestive sentences for which the Scriptures are distinguished above all other books, the sacred historian pictures the condition of perfect purity in which man had been formed—“They were both naked, the man and the woman, and were not ashamed” (chap. ii. 25). When, however, the fatal step was taken, their relation is indicated thus : -“And the eyes of them both were opened; and they knew that they
were naked, and they sewed fig-leaves together, and made themselves aprons” (chap. iii. 7). Before their expulsion from the blissful bowers of Eden, the Lord in his compassion directs them to materials for garments much more suitable for life in the wilderness, on which they were to enter, than were the frail zones of fig-leaves. The fig-tree is often mentioned in Holy Writ, and in most instances it is introduced along
with matters which claim for the references a special notice as they occur. Though several trees of this family have been specified as likely to have supplied the leaves for the first garments, it appears to me, beyond a doubt, that the leaves of the common Fig (Ficus carica)—the fig of commerce, with which all are familiar—were those used by our first parents after their fall. Like many other references to the objects of the natural world, this made to the fig-tree has given rise to one suggestion and another, as to the particular tree, from inattention to the way in which the original word is used. Here it is said “they sewed fig (teenah) leaves together.” The tree was one well known to every Israelite. Moses himself described Canaan, even before the people of Israel took possession of it, as a land of fig-trees :-“For the Lord thy God bringeth thee into a good land; a land of brooks of water, of fountains, and depths that spring out of valleys and hills; a land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig-trees (teenah), and pomegranates; a land of oil-olive and honey” (Deut. viii. 7, 8). And thus associating it with the wheat, the barley and the vine, he indicates its value as an article of food—a fact which itself is sufficient to lead us to the common fig. In Numbers xiii. 23, we read that, when the spies came to Eschol, “they cut down from thence a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they bare it between two upon a staff, and they brought of the pomegranates and of the figs.” The same word is used here, and, indeed, throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, in such a way as to suggest to us that the fig of commerce is the species, whose leaves were formed into zones by Adam and Eve..
In systematic Botany the common fig-tree is associated with the Bread-fruit tribe under the Urtiacece, or Nettle family—the nettle being the type of a family which includes the bread-fruit, hemp, elm, and mulberry tribes, &c. Most of the species of fig-trees arrest the attention of the traveller in the lands in which they are indigenous; some of them for the wide-spread shadows which they cast in sultry climes, some for their fruit, some for peculiarities in modes of growth, and others for their supply of well-known articles of commerce. At the head of them may be reckoned the celebrated Banyan-tree (Ficus Indicus). This was assumed by Milton to have been the tree that supplied the material for the “aprons."
"So counselled be, and both together went
Into the thickest wood; there soon they chose
In Malabar or Deccan spreads her arms,
The mode of growth referred to by the poet has been often described, and need not be dwelt on here. When the main shoot of the Banyan-tree has attained to strength, it throws out numerous branches in all directions. These, again, produce pendulous shoots, in the same way, to compare great things with small, as the common strawberry (Fragaria vesca) does. On reaching the earth they take root, and each one again becomes a trunk, which hastens to help in the work of propagation, by performing the same functions as the parent stem. But the poet was in error in believing that this tree furnished the leaves “to gird their waist,” wbich, indeed, are not as he describes them, “broad as Amazonian targe.” Another species is the India-rubber tree (Ficus elastica), noted for its caoutchouc juice. To this genus also belongs
the Bo or Pippul tree (Ficus religiosa), held sacred Fig. 66.
by the Hindoos and some neighbouring tribes, and generally planted in the neighbourhood of their holy places.
The natural history and economical use of the common fig are full of interest, and will be considered in detail when we come to passages in which the various features are suggested. Let us notice here a pecu
liarity in its organs of reproduction. The form of its Flower receptacle leaf will be seen by referring to the cut here given.
If a number of them be taken and their stalks plaited into each other, the deep scollops in the leaf are lost sight of, and a pretty good covering is formed. Such might be the zones plaited, or sewed, in Eden. The fruit of the fig-tree is pear-shaped, juicy, and, even before being dried for use, forms a pleasant and somewhat luscious food. The flower is concealed inside of this pear-shaped mass, which is hollow. This arrangement is represented in the accompanying section. The fig-tree is a native of the temperate and tropical climes of both
hemispheres. It flourishes luxuriantly in the countries bordering on the Mediterranean, both on the European and African sides. From these the figs of commerce are mainly brought. In the lands in which it may now almost be reckoned indigenous, its leaves attain to a large size-larger even than they are ever seen in the hot-houses of British gardens. The common fig, however, comes originally from Bible lands. With other eastern fruit trees, it was introduced into the countries of the south of Europe by the Phoenicians, several hundred years before the Christian era. With the leaf, then, of this tree our first parents made for themselves the first garments here referred to. "To hide their outward nakedness," piously remarks Andrew Fuller, “they betook themselves to the leaves of the garden.' This was to cover, not to cure. And to what else is all the labour of sinners devoted ? Is it not to conceal the bad, and to appear what they are not, that they are continually studying and contriving? And being able to impose upon one another, they with little difficulty impose upon themselves, 'trusting in themselves that they are righteous, and despising others.””
The garments made from the leaves of the fig-tree are exchanged, by the special interference and arrangement of God, for those mentioned in ver. 21:4“ Unto Adam also and his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” The clothing made of the skins of beasts was prepared before man left Eden. It was while he yet continued in the very place, which had cast its beauty around him in innocence, and had witnessed his departure from God, that his Creator directed him to the coats of skin. Here then was death-the destruction of animal life in Eden itself. Many attempts have been made to interpret Scripture, so as to make it harmonize with the fancies of men regarding the state of innocence. But the written words remain, and the facts suggested by them come to afford a striking testimony to the value of interpretations of the word of God, which go, in a plain and natural way, to show that revealed truth finds, at one point and another, strong corroboration in the discoveries of science. Many passages might be quoted from popular commentaries, and popular religious literature, in which the coats of skins are associated with the life of man after he was driven out of the garden, as if no violence of any kind could have entered its blissful borders, and no drop of animal blood could have fallen on its fruitful soil. This verse demolishes all such fancies, and indicates, very distinctly, that the lower animals were then under the same law of life as they are now. If in the garden they might be killed for any purpose, there could be nothing out of harmony with it in the
birds of prey feeding upon other birds, in the lion or tiger devouring the sheep, or in the thrush picking up the slug, as it crawled forth amidst the dew of morning from its shady hiding-place. Yea, that testimony to the wisdom of God which is found in the correlation between structure and functions, demands the recognition of such laws of life and death among the lower animals even in Eden. Milton, in those peculiarly beautiful lines which give his impressions of the meaning of this verse, appears to have felt this, as the words “or slain ” imply. He, however, adds a curious alternative. Might not the skins have been cast, as is the case with the snake when it sloughs ? Might not in this case there be meat got out of the devourer, by Adam and Eve being clad in the serpent's slough? The poet's fancy is really less extravagant than many of the interpretations which have been put on this passage :
“Then pitying how they stood
In the direction of the last suggestion of the poet, a more satisfactory explanation of the skins provided by God for these garments has been sought. They were, it is alleged, the skins of beasts slain in order to sacrifice. This, however, is like the other views, only a guess. But if hypothesis is admissible here at all, as I think it is, might not a much more reliable one be formed-one much more complete and suitable to the circumstances? Whatever may have been the occasion of slaying the animals whose skins were given to our first parents for clothing, it was one ordered by God himself. This is clearly stated in this verse. I have already called the reader's attention to the fact, that we are not entitled to hold that the grant given of animal food to man after the flood implied that the antediluvians were all vegetarians. There are indeed many strong reasons for holding an opposite opinion. Here we have the skins of slain beasts; most likely the skins of herbivorous